She couldn't hold it anymore not that she wanted to but somehow the idea of having them pull over and dashing behind a bush… No.
"Don't you need gas yet?" Jaden asked trying to peek over Dean's shoulder.
"Nope, still got half a tank." He replied. He sounded bored even though there was music playing and he had two passengers with which to talk to.
"Rest area?" Jaden demanded in a tight voice. She was starting to get more and more annoyed with the blond.
"Haven't seen a sign for one." Dean answered shifting in his seat until he found a more comfortable pose.
"Then find a bar." Jaden ordered, he seemed to be able to find one without any problem. She caught Dean's gaze in the rearview mirror and glared.
"Whatsa matter?" he questioned with a snicker. "You need a pee break?" he grinned. It was enough to start another argument and Sam had no escape unless he wanted to jump out of a moving car… No, he'd end up with broken bones, some scratches at the very least. Nope, he'd just have to suffer in silence for as long as it took to find a place to stop for the night because he wasn't going to sit through their argument the entire ride to Bobby's. No, Sam would make Dean stop at a hotel for the night.
It was a glorified truck stop. The only reason it was dubbed that was the constant sight of semi's and big rigs pulling off the main highway to either get some sleep or beer. There wasn't that much out there aside from the empty parcel of flat land next to the run down bar, which was used as a glorified parking lot. Its other appeal was that you could see it from the highway and the exit was two miles from the bar.
It was his fourth time.
His usual route kept him in the west coast but after the last year he wasn't picky about where the company sent him. Driving the US highways gave him a lot of time to think, to remember everything he'd seen and heard… Nobody believed him. They thought he was too stressed and maybe he needed to take a break.
Because people didn't just turn into flaming pyres, that wasn't plausible. He would've agreed, anytime before these past two years he would've agreed that was impossible.
'But I know. I saw her.'
That didn't change the fact he couldn't prove it and those lawyers had royally fucked him in the ass. It was all gone. Everything. He had nothing left, nothing he wanted, anyway. And why the hell did he still want her? He'd been happy to fuck around, didn't care one way or another if she knew he was fucking around… So why now?
'Because she's happy.'
But it wasn't just that. Yeah, she was happy. She had them all on her side and she was happy. He could see that. He could see she wasn't hung up on him anymore. There wasn't that longing in her eyes whenever he just 'happened' to drop in on her. Honestly, he'd always assumed she'd be there, just waiting on him...
"Reynoso, how long you been here, bud?"
The bloodshot eyes squinted and finally focused on the green checkered shirt and gray cap that took the stool next to his. He raised a half empty bottle of beer, eyes once more on the scarred bartop.
"Long enough to get sorta drunk." He replied.
"Half drunk?" there was laughter which grated on him but then a new- and more importantly- full bottle of beer was set down before him. "Drink up, bud. We'll see if we can't get all the way drunk today."
"You done with your load, Bear?" he had to wait for Bear to down half his beer before getting an answer.
"Yup." Bear let out a long belch. "Got a short haul this week. Aint due back for two more days. Figured I'd stick around, see if I cant get me some- whoa." Bear's head swiveled around, dark brown eyes following the short skirt heading into the ladies. "Now that one aint a regular."
Reynoso looked up and to the left where Bear had spotted the skirt. It was just like the older man, he somehow had a chic antenna that tuned into the –from a scale of 1 to10.
Everyone thought men weren't picky when it came to getting laid. If it had a 'loading dock' that's where they'd anchor their 'boat' but there were a few men who were too damn picky and Bear, though he didn't look it, was the pickiest son of a bitch Reynoso had ever met. There was that stupid movie Phade had loved to watch, the one with the blond bombshell in the pink dress covered in diamonds- damn she'd had a rack on her…
'Gentlemen prefer blonds…'
Well, Bear preferred the brunettes. It must've been his Indian blood but Reynoso had to admit the trucker tended to spot the rather exotic looking ones.
He eyed the skirt Bear was following, long black hair half pinned up threaded with blue patches. She turned and there was no mistaking the face. The fog of alcohol immediately dissipated but the brunette disappeared down the hall. The stool screeched on the wooden floor boards…
"Where ya goin', bud?" Bear asked watching the younger man stumble off his stool.
It was dusty, not many cars aside from the Impala though there were plenty of semis and big rigs. The bar looked run down, something the Winchester's would've felt comfortable walking into. There was no danger of bumping into law enforcement there and that was always a plus these days.
Sam followed Dean out of the car and stretched his legs. The highway wasn't all that busy and scanning their 'parking lot' he counted 9 rigs hauling a load plus another 5 all by themselves. Dusty and dirt smeared trucks or 4x4's were scattered about the flat plot. Sam faced the bar again, his mind wandering back to the conversation he needed to have with Dean. He frowned. It was the same conversation he'd been having with his brother since… since she showed up again all memory-less and 'vulnerable' according to Dean.
Sam made a disgusted sound in the back of his throat and Dean started towards the bar. He knew his little brother, too well and the fact he hadn't said anything about the 'sleeping arrangements' was making Dean uncomfortable. Silence was never good especially when Sammy had bee very clear about what a 'mistake' Dean was making, ignoring his deal and the lack of time.
"Dean." Sam called to his back, his sneakers sending puffs of dust around his feet.
"I need a beer." Dean called back and headed up the stairs into the darkened interior of the bar.
The door banged shut behind her; a second later a dark shadow followed her down the hall. She was a foot away from the noisy and well lit bar. As it turned out, that was too far for Jaden to avoid the trouble at her back.
"Ow!" Jaden flinched from the tight grip on her bicep. She glared up at the beard and blood shot eyes of some trucker as he pulled her around to face him. "What's you're deal, psycho?" she tried pulling out of his hold only to have him yank her closer. She could smell the stink of alcohol on his breath and tried not to breathe it in.
"Quien te crees?" he snarled looking her over and still trying to put this new face with the more familiar one. He'd always know Phade had a rather peculiar side, one more often than not kept hidden away until she was given an opportunity to flaunt her weirdness.
One hand fumbled with the lapel of her black army jacket which she quickly smacked out of the way.
"Bitch, let go!" Jaden ordered pushing away from the drunk and his roving hands. The last thing she needed was some pervy drunk trying to cop a feel in a smoky hallway of some out of the way piss poor excuse for a bar. Anger was her first reaction though it quickly gave way to a little bit of alarm. The hand on her arm tightened considerably but she refused to make a sound and bit her lip.
"Que putos haces aqui?" he demanded getting in her face. Because hadn't they taken everything and given it to her? Hadn't they said he was unfit, irresponsible and had no business raising a child? Everything. They repeated everything he'd ever said to her and then some. And now he couldn't find that lawyer lady who'd approached him in the first place.
"Que te importa, imbecil." Jaden retorted gripping his hand with hers and trying to pry his fingers off her bicep. His grip only tightened and the slight sense of alarm rapidly grew to fear.
None of his business… yeah, those lawyers pretty much said that too. It was none of his business, what ever she decided to do he had no say in the matter and he was lucky. Lucky she didn't take his balls…
"Let go!" Jaden squeaked in fright. The blood shot eyes bore into hers and she wondered… demons? "Christo." The whispered word didn't even register in the drunken brain. He grabbed both arms and held her, his face inches from hers and the foul breath made her eyes water.
"Para eso lo querias?" he demanded. He shook her again causing her to grit her teeth. "Para dejarlo con aquel?" he insisted because what the hell was she doing out in the middle of nowhere North Dakota? What the hell was so important she'd leave him behind? Unless she was working… That thought brought up memories he'd rather have forgotten. "What the fuck…"
"I'm not telling you again!" Jaden warned struggling to pull herself free and keep the fear from her voice.
"-playing games. You fucking take-."
"-Estas loco!" Jaden yelled pushing against him as her leg came up. It wasn't perfect but he doubled over anyway. She yanked one arm out of his grip and let him have it, not a good punch but enough to make him let go. Jaden took a few steps away from the drunken trucker and looked around the bar. They'd ended up just inside the main room drawing attention from every corner with their yelling. She turned around forcing her breathing to even out and looked for the door, feeling oddly detached. She should've been angry. Should've wanted to hurt the drunk some more… instead there was a nagging worry at the back of her mind. There was something wrong but she couldn't see it, couldn't figure out what that was …
Jaden noticed another trucker, dark skinned with straight black hair set in a medium length braid, as he got up from the bar. Time was moving slow, words were hollow sounds she couldn't make out and behind the trucker stood Dean. Again, he was scowling, green eyes flashing and Jaden knew he was going to start another lecture on her careless ness she wasn't in the mood to sit through. What was she, 12?
Dean started towards her with Sam at his back, he'd just ordered their beers and now they were going to have to leave. This time Jaden couldn't blame it on him, this time Dean had nothing to do with her starting a fight. That was going to be his first question; why was she starting fights in bars?
'You're rubbing off on her, that's why.'
Jaden felt something snag her hair; both hands came up too late to stop from having her head yanked back. She yelped, more surprised than hurt and dug her fingernails into the hand at her head. She tried an elbow strike and missed because he was too tall. Her elbow bounced off his chest and somehow ended up facing the drunken perv from the bathroom hallway.
"Hard headed, son of a bitc-." Jaden's cheek stung, a dull throbbing numbed her lip. She looked up as Sam punched the drunk perv and it pissed her off. Behind him, Dean took on the other trucker and then the entire bar was up in a roar. All because of that stupid drunk…
Jaden got to her feet, ignored the slight wobble in her legs and grabbed a half empty beer bottle from a table she passed. Why was it they all thought she couldn't take care of herself? Why did they all have to act like she needed rescuing? Why couldn't they leave her alone? Why?
It didn't matter, demons or human… Were all men programmed that way? She knew her brothers were and Timmy but they were all family. It was sort of expected they would stick up for her, so what about Jack and Garth? Both men behaved worse than any brother, worried more than an overbearing parent and were just a nuisance…
Jaden swung the bottle on someone's head harshly shoving them out of her way. She wasn't letting Dean have all the fun. No way, that nasty drunken perv picked a fight with her and she was going to finish the fight and Sam had better get out of her way.
Dean turned right into someone's fist. He reeled back, bumping into someone else only to get punched again. He grabbed at the closest body and started punching, clearing a little space for himself. Sam was close, clearly busy knocking the daylights out of Jaden's attacker. Dean spared a satisfied smirk in their direction before searching for her.
Jaden absently wondered if all bull riders got the same world-spinning-in-all-directions feeling whenever they got on a bull. She'd always wanted to ride one, had tried to convince her brothers to let her try the wild horses but it was always the same answer; no and all because she was a girl. Too delicate, easily bruised and all that krap she couldn't have cared less about.
It was a bad idea. She knew it was as soon as she did it. Jumping on the big oafs back, like she didn't know any better. You never wanted to fight on the floor and you never wanted your feet to leave solid ground. Never.
Her arms were too short, she wasn't strong enough to try the choke hold either and the trucker wasn't as drunk as she'd first thought. Why she'd thought it was smart to hit him with the second beer bottle was beyond her knowledge. It had just felt good at the time. Now…?
Jaden felt her body swing over the trucker; she had no clue which way was up, not until her ass and back came down on the edge of the pool table. She reached, tried to grab at something to keep herself from falling but her feet swung down propelling her upper body forward. Jaden sucked in a breath, felt the flaring pain in her back and hips, saw the chipped red table top rush at her face and then she lay on the floor with broken glass chiming like tiny little bells in her head.
Dean pushed his way to the pool table, caught a glimpse of Sam knocking two trucker's heads together and filed that fleeting smirk on his little brothers face away to think on later, when he was sure Jaden was still alive. He reached her side, ducking when he heard the shot gun blast. With one hand on her shoulder Dean chanced a glance around the pool table looking for his little brother.
"Get the hell outta my bar! You God damn sons of bitches! If it aint one drunk it's another now get the hell up and out! Move it!"
Dean spotted the unlikely shot gun wielding bar owner, a skinny old lady with salt & pepper hair pulled up in a bun. She stood at the far end of the bar, the shot gun in hand and glared at the truckers shuffling their way out.
"What the hell are you doing there?" she demanded of a younger man. "Aint payin' you to watch, JoJo. Get these fools out of my bar before I fill 'em with buck shot. You!" she jabbed the shot gun towards a clump of men who ducked for cover and earned an exasperated glare. "I seen 'im! Don't you dare hide the son of a bitch!" she warned and Dean wondered who the hell she was talking about.
"I oughta fill 'im with buck shot. Get that sorry excuse for a man outta my bar, JoJo! Boy, get a move on 'less you want some lead in your ass too!" she warned striding out from behind the bar.
"Where is he?" Jaden hissed turning onto her side and gritting her teeth against the pain in her hips. Walking wasn't going to be fun and getting on her feet would be a lot harder to do but she had no one to blame for the pain other than herself. How many times had she been told to keep her feet on the ground in a fight and avoid going down?
"Can you get up?" Dean asked, his concern was noted but Jaden didn't want it, she didn't want his help either.
"I'm fine." She lied shoving off the wooden floor and biting her tongue. Dean watched her stop halfway, shook his head at her stubbornness and easily slid his arm around her waist.
"Que yo puedo sola." Jaden snapped, sucking in a sharp breath as Dean stood her on her feet. Her knees bent and she clutched at the pool table. Jaden shut her eyes and tried to breathe past the throbbing pain in her waist and back,
"Reynoso! Wake the fuck up, man."
Jaden turned her head, saw the same dark haired trucker from the bar yank the pervy drunk up right but it wasn't helping any. He was more likely out cold, had it been Sam to deliver the KO?
"Dante, man you're not light." Again, he tried shaking the younger man awake but Jaden couldn't take her eyes from the slack face. Recognition dawned slowly, slightly doubtful this was the same Dante she'd had the misfortune of dating back in her other life, the one called high school.
Dean helped her shuffle along towards the door, which she hardly noticed. Her eyes kept trying to pick out familiar features but it was difficult, it had been more than ten years and she'd done her best to erase any memory of his from her mind.
Dean jerked his head at Sam, noting the hard eyed glare from the trucker trying to lift his drunk buddy. The old lady was at his side jabbing the end of the shotgun into his ribs with JoJo standing right beside the irritated old lady.
"You get that piece of shit out of my bar and I better not see either of you again. I aint serving no women beaters in my bar. You hear me JoJo? Aint wanna see either of 'em again. I catch these sacks of shit in my bar and you're ass will be on the receivin' end of this here gun! Go on! Get up you drunk mother fucker- quit plain' possum!" she kicked him.
Dean couldn't help be amused by the old woman, what wasn't so amusing was finding Jaden in a bar fight. Sam held the door open for them, watching the rest of the show inside before following Dean and Jaden to the Impala.
"Thought you were going to use the restroom, J." Dean said leading her down the steps and into the parking lot. He tried not to sound half as upset as he really felt because that would only start another fight, and hadn't they had enough of those for one day? Sam would think so.
"Did use it." Jaden bit out ignoring the silent question. She wasn't sure what the hell her drunken ex had been raging about but she wasn't going to admit having dated-that-. Ever, not to Dean, not to anyone. Ever.
"Don't have to use it now." Jaden said through clenched teeth.
"Right," Dean nodded. "What was that about bars and fights you've been saying?" he questioned helping her slide into the back seat.
"Shut up." Clearly Jaden didn't find his questions amusing. He couldn't see her glaring at him from her position in the back seat as he closed the door.
"Cant blame me for this-." he started to say opening his door and sliding into the drivers seat.
"Shut up!" Jaden yelled half rising from the seat and biting back a pained groan as her back flared.
"Dean." Sam warned glancing over his shoulder at Jaden's pale face and clenched jaw. The only color in her face were the bright streaks on her cheeks.
"Hey, I didn't start-." Dean turned to Sam in defense.
"It's your fault!" Jaden yelled, she smacked the back of his seat with a fist for emphasis and winced for her trouble.
"How's this my fault?" Dean demanded twisting around in the driver's seat.
"It's always your fault!" Jaden snapped slightly sitting up in the back. "You're always getting in trouble! You're like- some- like-." Jaden closed her eyes and let out a frustrated scream.
"Oh that makes perfect sense." Dean retorted sarcastically. He turned the key listening to the purr of his baby but even that didn't ease up his annoyance.
"Both of you just shut up!" Sam snapped glaring at them both.
"I didn't go in the damn place!" Dean retorted with a finger jab at the bar now fading into the background as he drove back onto the highway.
"I'm tired of this arguing. Both of you!" Sam glared at them. He was tired of them both, tired of Dean… "Just shut up!" he ordered facing forward again, he flipped on the radio and let George Thoroughgood belt out Bad to the Bone. Sam clenched his jaw, refused to make any comment and just stared out the windshield. He ignored Dean's side glances and when Jaden nudged the back of the seat he tried really hard not to hear her ask his bother what had crawled up his butt.
Dean stifled his laughter glancing in Sam's direction before shrugging. He glanced into the rearview mirror unable to wipe off the huge grin on his face at her question. Dean hoped this meant Jaden was starting to thaw towards Sammy. He found it a bit strange she wasn't half as nice to him as she'd been in LA because Jaden had obviously enjoyed Sam's company more than his.
"Not sure I want to know." He replied. Sam closed his eyes and strove for patience…